Luke Moore sets the Fleet on the way in the Setanta Shield in an extra-time victory…
EXETER CITY 2-3 EBBSFLEET UNITED (aet)
Notching his 100th game in a Fleet shirt this evening, Luke Moore grabbed the 15th goal of his Fleet career as he set his side on the road to a slender victory at Exeter in the Fourth Round of the Setanta Shield.
The Fleet began with a strong enough team, Liam Coleman getting only his second start of the season and Chukki Eriebenne returning after a three-game suspension. But it was the home side who took an early advantage on 8 minutes after old Fleet nemesis Lee Elam sent in a cross from the right wing that did well to find Adam Stansfield and the former Yeovil striker buried a header in the back of the net.
Exeter had the better chances in a quiet first half and it took until 70 minutes for a real Fleet chance, Coleman and Eribenne combining for a low shot which Paul Jones parried. A free kick on 75 minutes also had Jones leaping into action and turning away a rebounded shot and a long-range attempt as the Fleet stepped up their game. They got their just reward minutes from the end of normal time after Coleman crossed from wide and substitute Luke Moore was on hand to tuck away before Jones could reach the ball.
Extra-time was probably the last thing either side wanted and another substitute, John Akinde, looked to have settled things in the early minutes of the second period of extra time, heading home a corner to make it 2-1 to the Fleet. However, on 111 minutes, Exeter defender George Friend hit a shot goalwards that deflected off Peter Hawkins, allowing Steve Basham to tuck away the equaliser.
With penalties and a rerun of the 2003-04 FA Cup between these two sides looming, it was left to goal machine Chris McPhee to seize the piece de resistance, smashing home a spot-kick after a Daniel Seaborne handball to give the Fleet another lead a minute from time and, ultimately, passage to the Fifth Round.
TEAM: Cronin, Ricketts, Hawkins, Smith, McCarthy, Bostwick, McPhee, Long (Akinde), Coleman, Purcell (Moore), Eribenne (Barrett).